(This is an updated post from previous years.) If you’ve been to a shopping centre recently or watched any television, you’ll know that Christmas is rapidly approaching and there are plenty of businesses that are keen to ‘help you celebrate’ with their products. While the big day is still just under a couple of months away, we know that it all starts to ramp up from here.
Once again, I’m conflicted. If I’m honest, I don’t really need anything for Christmas. If no one bought me a gift for Christmas or any other occasion, I could survive. In fact not just survive but continue to thrive.
The conflict comes from the fact that I still enjoy receiving gifts. I love the unwrapping and the excitement of having something shiny and new. I also love the fact that people care enough to choose something for me.
It concerns me that while I’m enjoying lovely new things that I don’t really need, there are people in many parts of the world that don’t have the basics that they need to get on with the daily task of just keeping their families alive.
If Christmas is about celebrating Jesus, surely we should be doing something that honours him and his heart for the poor, rather than overindulging while most of the world goes without.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting we should all be miserable and not fully enter into the celebrations at this time of year.
I suppose that’s where we all need some kind of balance between the giving and receiving of gifts between friends and loved ones and our wider responsibility to those in need around the world. We live in a global village but most of the villagers are missing out.
Those of us who’ve been blessed by simply being born in the right place should spare a thought for those who only ask for the gift of life this Christmas.
I might not have a lot of use for a goat but for a rural family in a developing country, the simple gift of a goat could be just what they need to break free from poverty.
So where do you buy a goat and how do you get it to someone who needs it? Compassion Australia’s Gifts of Compassion is open and ready for business. Their gifts help people who are battling desperate poverty.
They can take your money and turn it into a very real solution to poverty. You can buy everything from mosquito nets to a toilet block with lots more in between including chickens, cows, toothbrushes and baby vaccinations.
Your support really does make a difference.
I’ve visited churches partnering with Compassion in seven of the 25 countries where they’re working and I can personally vouch for the work they do. When you support those in poverty through Compassion, the aid really does make it to those who need it.
In fact, it was after seeing the work of Compassion that I decided that I would do all I could to advance their work which is why I’ve now been working full-time for Compassion for the last six years.
This Christmas I do want to receive something for myself, wrapped in thought and love, but I also hope that someone will give me a goat or a chicken or a health bundle for someone I’ll never meet.
What about you?
Go on … you’ve thought about it before but unless you let your loved ones know now it’ll never happen. Ask those you love to buy something for someone else this Christmas.
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